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February 2021 Emergency Water Conservation

As of 2/19/2021, this crisis is considered ended. A final notice was posted on our website regarding this extended utility challenge.

NEWS RELEASE February 17, 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Samantha Moon | [email protected] | 913-755-2146 x103



Osawatomie, Kansas – The City of Osawatomie continues to battle against the elements to keep our utilities online during this historical, record-breaking extreme cold. Our community is now facing a second set of critical utility challenges with water intake and distribution due to frozen lines. The continued severe winter weather has resulted in the primary water intake line from the Marais des Cygnes river being frozen where it is exposed above ground leading into the plant. Our utility crews are bringing in additional heaters to get the line reopened, but it will be several hours before it’s fluid enough to pull water from the river into the plant for treatment and distribution.

We are asking all residents and businesses to conserve water over the next 12 hours to preserve the supply in our water towers. Please be aware of your water use and do everything you can to reduce your consumption through the day today. If our towers run out of water before the primary intake line is reopened, we will not be able to refill them and the public water supply
will be empty. In addition to homes and businesses being without water, empty towers would also mean empty fire hydrants and our Fire Department would be unable to effectively fight any level of fire as their trucks hold a limited amount of water and would be unable to pull from the hydrants.

It is critical that residents and businesses in Osawatomie continue to be as conservative as possible with all their public utilities at this time. Electric, natural gas, and water distribution systems are all interconnected and this extended severe weather has tested each system to their limits across the entire Midwest. We are not the only community facing these issues, and we are not the only community requesting conservation efforts across the board.

As a municipality, the safety of our residents is always our primary concern and we are doing everything within our capabilities to keep our utilities on and functioning during this bitter cold. However, we cannot succeed in our efforts without the need for continued sacrifice from our residents and businesses. This is an “it takes a village” moment and we are depending on our
village to keep stepping up, staying together, and helping us reach the 40°f light at the end of the tunnel.

This information is being distributed via our website, official social media, and the Everbridge Alert system.


We have several heaters set up in the pump house working on thawing the primary intake line. Alexander Pump is also on site working to keep our pumps going. An additional rental pump will not be available for pickup until 1:00pm and will not be installed and ready for use until 4:00pm. By that time, we estimate to have around four remaining hours of water supply until we reach the 20% level where a boil order will then be required.

Your continued conservation efforts for all utilities are still critically needed at this time.

We will issue another update at 3:00pm and 6:00pm through our social media, website, and the Everbridge Alert system via the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.


Crews are still working on the repairs/thawing at our primary water intake facility located next to our plant. The intake facility is where we pull water off the Marais des Cygnes and into the water plant for treatment and distribution. Over the last 48 hours, the temperatures got so cold that the piping in the intake facility began to freeze. In regular winter weather, the pumping of water is sufficient to keep the pipes from freezing solid. But as the temperatures dropped to record-breaking lows and water consumption slowed as people conserved electric energy (less laundry, less dishwashers, etc.) our pull rate reduced and the pipes froze. This led to a set of cascading problems including broken valves and damage to some pumps.

As we work to solve these problems, we’ve also prepared an emergency plan that includes pumping water out of the river directly using a separate pump located outside of the intake facility and running 1,000 feet of flat piping (fire hose) to the basins. This allows us to temporarily bypass the intake facility, freeing us up to make the necessary repairs. In order to accomplish this, we’ve called on our Water Rescue team of the Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department to cut a hole in the river ice so we can access the water below. We estimate ice depths at 4-6 inches.

We are still asking all residents and businesses to conserve water over the next several hours to preserve the supply in our water towers until this repair and/or bypass work can be accomplished. If our towers run out of water before we’re able to pull more from the river, we will not be able to refill them and the public water supply will be empty. This would also be a catastrophic situation for the Fire Department if they were to receive a fire call, as the hydrants would be dry. Right now our water tower levels are still sufficient as people are being very careful about their consumption (THANK YOU!), but should they drop below 20% we’ll need to institute a boil order for the entire City.

We’ll have another water update for you at 6:00pm, or whenever there is emergency notification needed. This information is being distributed via our website (, official social media, and the Everbridge Alert system through the Miami County Sheriff’s Office ( are grateful for all that our community is willing to sacrifice so that our utility crews are able to keep our infrastructure operational during these unprecedented times.


A slightly more positive update for tonight. Two pumps have been replaced, the primary intake is thawed, and water IS moving. We are producing around 1800 gallons per minute for processing, which is better than we originally anticipated.

We still need everyone to conserve as much utility energy (power, water, and natural gas) as possible through the evening and into tomorrow until we have a better idea of how the interconnected grids are adjusting to consumer demand and the slightly warmer temperatures.

We hope that by midnight we will have our tanks refilled and will be in a much better position moving forward.

We are continuously thankful and grateful for everyone’s conservation efforts — it may be more than inconvenient but it is making a tremendous impact! Keep it up, Osawatomie! We’re so close to being on the other side of this. Unless something critical changes in the coming hours, this will be the last update until tomorrow morning.

As always, this information is distributed via our social media channels, our website, and through the Miami County Sheriff’s Office’s “Everbridge Alert” system.

February 2021 Energy Crisis

As of 2/19/2021, this crisis is considered ended. A final notice was posted on our website regarding this extended utility challenge.


We lost a primary feed from Evergy and that is what caused the unplanned outage beginning at 1:43am. An Evergy crew was dispatched to get that feed back online while Osawatomie crews worked to restore generated power to sections of town in a safe and responsible way.


The majority of Osawatomie was restored to power at this point. Crews were still working on one final circuit. Moving forward through the morning and into the early afternoon, we need to be prepared for additional rolling blackouts as we work through peak consumption hours. Please continue to conserve energy through tomorrow to help lighten the strain on the grid.

WE ARE GENERATING! Our generators have been chugging along for the last 24+ hours to keep Osawatomie’s power stable, but we are also working with our power pool partners and KMEA to help strengthen and sustain energy resources in the area. As we head into peak consumption hours, our generation capacity will be tasked at times. TAKE THE TIME NOW to prepare for rolling blackouts or extended outages (between 60-90 minutes). We might not be able to give adequate notice if rolling blackouts become necessary, so prepare now while power is more stable.

THANK YOU to everyone for their patience and understanding during this energy crisis.


SPP (our power pool) has declared an Emergency Energy Alert (EEA) Level 3 effective immediately for our entire 14-state region. Per SPP, “system-wide generating capacity has dropped below our current load… due to extremely low temperatures and inadequate supplies of natural gas.” Just like our neighbors in the KC Metro area, we are now required to implement controlled interruptions of electric service throughout our community beginning this morning and rolling through the afternoon. This is done as a last resort to preserve the reliability of the electric system as a whole.

Without controlled rolling blackouts, we risk losing the grid entirely which could lead to widespread uncontrolled outages.Take the time now to prepare for continued rolling blackouts. These controlled outages should last no more than 60 minutes.

As we head into peak consumption hours this morning and throughout the early afternoon, please continue to be looking for ways to reduce your household’s electric and natural gas usage. It is still CRITICAL that you conserve as much energy as possible throughout today. If you are a non-essential business, we ask that you considered delaying operations for today to take some strain off the grid.

We are very grateful to everyone who has made small sacrifices so far; it’s been very helpful as we work to keep Osawatomie’s power supply stable between controlled outages.Those sacrifices do not go unnoticed, and we thank you.Please continue to conserve as much energy and natural gas as you can. This will take continued effort from all of us.


Controlled rolling blackouts continue for the City of Osawatomie on Tuesday morning. Our power pool (SPP) has declared an Emergency Energy Alert (EEA) Level 3 for our region and we are required to implement controlled rolling blackouts to ensure the integrity of the electric grid. It is critical that we all continue to conserve electric and natural gas energy in our homes and businesses. Our conservation efforts help lessen the strain on the grid and help enormously to keep our electric connection stable between controlled outages. Please continue to conserve wherever it’s safe to do so.

The important thing to understand is that if we (or others in our power pool) do not comply with these controlled outages, demand will outstrip supply and we all go down for an indeterminate amount of time. We would be in much the same situation as the 4,000,000 in the Houston area who are in the dark right now and have been for quite some time. We anticipate at least two more outages this morning/afternoon, but there could be more so PLEASE take the time to plan for continued outages today.

Our partners at Evergy and the SPP are warning that anticipated 30-60 minute outages like we’re currently experiencing could extend to 90-120 minutes if the grid is too strained. YOUR CONSERVATION EFFORTS MATTER!

Our generators have done a tremendous job at helping us to stabilize Osawatomie’s power grid over the last three days as we’ve been called on by the SPP to produce power. The City’s electric grid and Evergy are interconnected, and usually this works pretty seamlessly if we are generating at the demand levels of our customers. However, in the last three days we’ve been unable to meet the heightened demand levels due to the extreme weather. So when Evergy is required to cut power, the City’s grid demand overwhelms our generation capacities and our generators stop. Not to mention the extraordinary difficulty in operating the generators in these temperature conditions, which our utilities crews have been battling head-on since this ordeal started.

Again, we cannot stress how important it is for everyone of us to continue to conserve electric and natural gas energy through today and into tomorrow.Please see our previous posts for tips on how to conserve energy at home during winter weather, and remember that the Osawatomie Police Department and Osawatomie Fire Department are available 24/7 should you or someone you know need assistance.


According to Evergy and the SPP (our power pool), our region has been reduced back to Emergency Energy Alert (EEA) Level 2 and the SPP has tentatively called off the immediate need for controlled rolling blackouts.

CONSERVATION IS STILL CRITICAL AT THIS TIME. If we stop conservation efforts and increase our demand on the grid, we will revert back to EEA3 and controlled rolling blackouts will be required with outages lasting anywhere from 30-120 minutes throughout the day.

PLEASE continue to conserve crucial electric and natural gas energies wherever it is safe to do so so that we may remain at EEA2 and avoid controlled outages. Your conservation sacrifices are making a difference to our entire community and we are very grateful. It’s because of all of your efforts that we are able to keep this high level of utility stability when so many others are not. Thank you!


While the City of Osawatomie is not currently at an Emergency Energy Alert Level 3 (EEA3) that would require us to implement controlled outages, we would urge all residents to prepare for that announcement and make plans NOW for another series of outages through the evening or overnight.

As we move into the colder evening and overnight temperatures, the strain on the electric and natural gas energy reserves will worsen and our EEA status might upgrade rapidly, and with little warning to us or you the consumer. While we are doing everything in our abilities to deliver timely information, there is usually very little notice (sometimes none at all) when our grid must be de-energized by our partners at Evergy and SPP (our power pool) to lighten the load on the region. The controlled blackouts are done based on the needs of the grid and, unfortunately, cannot be given a hard schedule or timeline.

This means that we might not get a heads up on when the next series of outages could occur. So, to get ahead of that and help our community be as prepared as possible, we’re letting you know now that continued rolling blackouts lasting anywhere from an anticipated 30-120 minutes IS a possibility over the next several hours and into tomorrow morning.

Conservation efforts continue to be a critical tool at our disposal, and we are grateful for everyone who is making small energy sacrifices to keep our utilities as stable as possible.

Please keep checking our City of Osawatomie Facebook feed for the latest official update on this continuing energy crisis. The information is also available on our website at and is being pushed to residents who are subscribed to Miami County Sheriff’s Office “Everbridge Alert” system (formerly known as Code Red).

Thank you for your continued understanding as we navigate this historical cold snap.

City Reaches Critical Point in Electric Generation

The City of Osawatomie continues to produce electricity through our generation capacities but we have reached a critical point. Our power pool is out of electricity and is having to purchase from others. Because of this, the City of Osawatomie was entered into Emergency Energy Alert Level 2 (EEA2) this morning. If we do not IMMEDIATELY reduce our energy consumption, we could trigger into EEA3, which would mean rolling blackouts or widespread outages for the next several days.

PLEASE be looking for ways to reduce your household’s electric and natural gas usage.

Remember to keep warm, but not hot. Do not run your appliances (dishwashers, laundry machines, garage fridges, etc.) If it’s safe to do so, please turn off space heaters, or turn down other heating elements. Unplug kitchen appliances that are not in use, turn off lights when the room is vacant, and keep doors closed in your home to reduce the strain on your furnace. Use blankets, towels, sheets, plastic or other material to cover drafty windows and doors if you cannot obtain weather stripping or caulk.

We are extraordinarily grateful to the O-Zone for agreeing to close today and tomorrow to help lighten the load, and would encourage other businesses who are able to close to do the same. If you own a business but are not able to close, please also be looking for ways to reduce your energy consumption while maintaining operations.We have not seen weather this severe for this many consecutive days since 1989.

The “unprecedented” theme of 2020 has carried into 2021 and we are working as hard as we can to stay ahead of it but we desperately need the help and cooperation of our community at this time.The Municipal Auditorium is still a designated warming center for those that need it, but it will be difficult to maintain that operation should we be forced into EEA3. We need your help.Please conserve as much energy and natural gas as you can. This will take effort from all of us.

Please know that we are NOT the only community facing this issue. Our neighboring cities and cities in the KC Metro are also struggling, and several have already implemented rolling blackouts in an effort to conserve power. Please share this post with your friends and neighbors. We can only get through this together.Thank you, and please stay safe. The Osawatomie Fire Department and Osawatomie Police Department are available 24/7 should you or anyone you know need assistance during this time.

To stay up to date on the City’s navigation of this critical power issue, please tune into our website, social media channels, and sign up for emergency notifications from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office “Everbridge Alert” system.

City Urges Power Conservation During Critical Winter Weather

As a member of a power pool, we have been asked to produce a bulk of our electricity using our own generation capacity. For the next several days, it will be CRITICAL that we all conserve our electricity as best we can to stave off potential blackouts brought on by the bitterly cold temperatures we are experiencing. If every home could conserve between 10-15% of their regular consumption, it would make a world of difference.

Governor Laura Kelly has issued a State of Emergency due to wind chill warnings and stress on utility and natural gas providers. As we all know, the state has experienced bitter winter temperatures and below zero wind chills for more than a week. This has put stress on utility and natural gas providers across the state.

Here are some tips on energy conservation:

  • Keep warm, not hot. When possible wear additional layers of clothing, consider turning down your thermostat and check your programmable settings.
  • Seal leaks around doors and windows. Apply weather stripping or caulk to seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors to stop air leaks and prevent energy loss. If that is not an option, you can also cover windows with towels, sheets or plastic to help keep the warm air in your house.
  • Reduce the temperature on your water heater. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or put it on the “warm” setting. If your home will be vacant for two days or more, set the dial to the pilot position for even more savings.
  • Close blinds and curtains. This helps keep warm air inside, especially if the sun is not shining.- Change or clean filters. A clean filter on your furnace can lower your energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent. Dirty filters cost more to use and overwork the equipment.
  • Hold off on doing chores. Doing laundry and washing dishes can both use natural gas to heat the water and your dryer. If you can, wait until the extreme cold weather passes to complete these activities. If you cannot wait, use the cold setting where possible.
  • Install foam gaskets on electrical switches and outlets. Electrical switches and outlets can account for up to 10 percent of your home’s energy loss.

For more information on the Governor’s release, please click here.

To stay up to date on the City’s navigation of this critical power issue, please tune into our website, social media channels, and sign up for emergency notifications from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office “Everbridge Alert” system.

News Release from the City Manager’s Office Regarding the Keeping of Fowl

439 Main Street
P.O. Box 37
Osawatomie KS 66064
913.755.2146 (p)
913.755.4146 (f )
[email protected]

February 12, 2021 [email protected]
913-755-2146 x103


Osawatomie, Kansas – The City of Osawatomie City Council voted to approve a proposed ordinance amendment at the February 11th, 2021, regular council meeting that would permit the keeping of certain fowl within City limits. In an eggshell, this means that residents of Osawatomie are now welcome to keep chickens (hens only) on residential property inside the City limits.

Director of Community Development Ed Beaudry was glad to see this issue come before City Council, and is looking forward to working with interested residents to ensure happy neighbors and healthy flocks. “Raising chickens comes with a lot of benefits to the owner, such as a food source and the potential for supplemental income, so I’m happy to see our residents get the opportunity to invest in a venture like this. But I also know that chickens require a lot more upkeep than many might realize, so I’m really glad that Council approved a set of maintenance and permitting requirements to keep neighbors happy and our community clean and sanitary,” said Beaudry.

Ordinance No. 3791 can be found in full on our website at and details limitations on the number of hens per property, etc. For more information on the ordinance, including permitting requirements and building codes related to the construction of coops and other structures, please contact Ed Beaudry at 913-755-2146 x102 or by email at [email protected]


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